News today that MSP’s have written to the SFA for a second time demanding answers about the kick-off time for the Scottish Cup Final will not, or at least should not, surprise a single fan of our club.
When we released our statement on the change we made it clear that in spite of the SFA’s claim to the contrary that we had not been properly consulted. Inverness made the same claim a short time later.
It seems that our parliamentarians have been treated with similar contempt.
A group of MSP’s from the cross-party Health, Social Care and Sport Committee want to know who the SFA did consult with before they made this decision. They wrote to them last week about this and that they have now released their new letter to the media should give you some sense of just how pissed off they are with what they got back.
“I was disappointed that your letter failed to set out (as the Committee had requested) what prior discussions you have had with Scottish Government Ministers, with transport service providers and with fan associations to ensure any disruption to individual travel plans caused by the change of kick-off time would be kept to an acceptable minimum,” the new letter reads. “The Committee would be grateful for a full response to this request.”
They were scathing about the information they have received so far.
“The Committee also finds your response that ‘In relation to public transport issues, we have been assured by the club (Inverness) that this is not the case’ to be less than satisfactory. I would ask that, in responding to this letter, you set out what steps the SFA has taken to compensate travelling fans for the additional travel costs they will have incurred as a direct result of the change of kick-off time. If no such compensation has been put in place, I would ask that you set out the reasons behind this.”
The Committee further makes clear their disgust at the SFA palming off responsibility for the mess they have created onto the two clubs and the fans themselves.
“It is regrettable that the announcement of this change was made only one calendar month before the game is scheduled to take place, following confirmation on 26 April that the FA Cup Final would kick off at 3pm that same day and in response to apparent pressure from broadcasters. It is equally regrettable that, instead of the SFA assuming responsibility, the onus for resolving the disruption caused by this decision has apparently been placed on clubs and fans,” it says.
The governing bodies of our game have no respect for the wishes of the supporters or even the clubs themselves, but to see that they are treating our elected representatives with such appalling disregard is disturbing to say the least.
These people don’t think they have to answer to anybody, except maybe the TV companies.
That ought to be a cause for genuine concern at Celtic Park and elsewhere.